Bullpen Blows Second Straight; Hogs Eliminated In Hoover
FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – Winning games in the SEC Tournament wasn’t a necessity for Arkansas as they have locked up a regional host spot and likely a top eight national seed but issues with the bullpen could be a concern heading into the postseason.
For the second straight day, Arkansas saw a late lead erased as Ole Miss scored two runs in the eighth inning to top the Razorbacks 3-2 and eliminate the Hogs from the conference tournament. Ole Miss will face Georgia on Saturday in the semifinals.
Arkansas built a 2-0 lead thanks to a home run by Matt Goodheart in the fourth inning but for the third straight day, the Razorbacks struggled to produce runs.
Connor Noland threw five innings while allowing just one run and striking out two before being pulled but the bullpen was unable to hold that lead. Kevin Kopps walked two of the three batters he faced in the sixth inning but Cody Scroggins was able to get out of that jam.
Then in the eighth, Zebulon Vermillion walked the lead off batter and then hit the third Ole Miss batter of the inning to put two runners on with one out. Arkansas went to closer Matt Cronin to try to get a five out save but Thomas Dilliard tied the game with a single to center then Grae Kessinger gave the Rebels a 3-2 lead with a RBI sacrifice fly.
Arkansas will learn their postseason fate on Monday as the complete bracket for the NCAA tournament will be announced.